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In photos: Eight signs of Russian pride and politics for Victory Day festivities

Festivities mark anniversary of Nazi Germany's Second World War surrender to Soviet Union

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Russian troops march during the Victory Day parade in Red Square in Moscow. Victory Day, the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s surrender to the Soviet Union in 1945, is an important secular holiday in Russia.

PAVEL GOLOVKIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev watch the Victory Day parade in Moscow. Putin’s speech before the parade did not mention the situation in Ukraine, focusing instead on the Soviet Union’s role in Germany’s defeat in the Second World War.

RIA NOVOSTI/REUTERS

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Russian military planes fly above the Kremlin, with the Ivan the Great Bell Tower seen in the foreground, during the Victory Day parade in Moscow's Red Square.

TATYANA MAKEYEVA/REUTERS

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, middle, and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, review the Russian fleet in Sevastopol on May 9, 2014. Putin went to Crimea on Friday for the first time since Russia annexed the peninsula from Ukraine in March.

MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS

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A woman holds a photograph of a Soviet serviceman during celebrations to mark Victory Day in Odessa. The cosmopolitan port city in southern Ukraine was the site of clashes last week between pro-Kiev and pro-Russian demonstrators that left as many as 46 dead.

YEVGENY VOLOKIN/REUTERS

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Pro-Russian gunmen stand guard in front of the monument of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin during a Victory Day celebration in Slavyansk. The separatist-held eastern Ukrainian town has been a flashpoint of conflict with the Kiev government in a region where several referendums on secession from Ukraine are to be held this weekend.

DARKO VOJINOVIC/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Pro-Russian gunmen atop an armored personal carrier shout slogans during a Victory Day celebration in Slavyansk.

DARKO VOJINOVIC/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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A Second World War veteran holds a portrait of Josef Stalin during Victory Day celebrations in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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